EECS Associate Professor and principal investigator in the Research Laboratory of Electronics, RLE, Marc A. Baldo will head one of two new Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) at MIT, announced by the White House and reported by the MIT News Office April 27, 2009.
Established by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, the 46 new multimillion-dollar EFRCs will pursue advanced scientific research on energy at universities, national laboratories, nonprofit organizations and private firms across the nation. In addition to the projected benefits in developing new energy technologies, the EFRCs, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide job creation and promote economic recovery, will provide employment for postdoctoral associates, graduate students, undergraduates and technical staff.
The new Center for Excitonics will be housed at RLE and served by researchers from the scientific community at MIT, as well as from Harvard University and Brookhaven National Laboratory. The Center for Excitonics will be devoted to the science and applications of excitons, crucial intermediates for energy transduction in low cost, disordered semiconductors.
As reported in the April 27, 2009 RLE press release, the Excitonics Center researchers will be tackling a comprehensive exploration of the science of excitons with the goal of building excitonic devices to address society's needs for a new generation of energy technologies. Potential outcomes include the development of efficient synthetic and room-temperature-reconfigurable light absorbing antennas with sub-5-nm feature sizes for solar cells; stable organic light emitting devices exploiting spin orbit coupling to achieve internal fluorescent efficiences approaching 100%, and novel nanowire, nanowire heterostructure and nanowire-quantum dot aggregate materials for solid state lighting; and thin film, non-tracking solar concentrators with power efficiences exceeding 30%.